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Stop the violent attacks in north Eastern and Rift

By Editorial - April 10th 2022
Kenya has enough security officers to ensure all Kenyans are protected. [File, Standard

That nine people were killed in a weekend attack in Isiolo and their livestock stolen is a blot on the state of security in northern Kenya and parts of the North Rift where violent attacks have become the norm.

A government earns its authority from its ability to deal firmly with cases of lawlessness. But when raiders attack villages in broad daylight, kill people and drive away their livestock without facing the full force of the law, public confidence in government declines.

This is why the Interior ministry must step up and protect wananchi from armed raiders especially since in an election year, such attacks create the impression that victims are targeted on the basis of their political persuasion. Either that or the raids have become an illegal way to raise campaign financing given that stolen livestock can be sold to raise campaign money for rogue politicians.

Public confidence in the police has been dented by the routine failure to secure every part of the country despite the fact that Kenya has met the police: public ratio recommended by the United Nations. That means Kenya has enough security officers to ensure all Kenyans are protected. That this is not happening raises questions about police's capacity to do their job effectively and impartially.

It also sends a signal that lawlessness can go unpunished, which sets a dangerous precedent.

The Constitution guarantees every Kenyan the right to security and protection of their property. The police must, therefore, live up to their constitutional obligation in all parts of the country as it is their duty to serve all Kenyans without discrimination.

Unfortunately, the message that comes out of the all too frequent attacks in northern Kenya is that the Constitution is not enforced or is unenforceable there. There is a need for the police to change this narrative. Every Kenyan has a right to security.

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